Orthopedic surgeons deal with very delicate areas of the body, such as the spinal cord, musculoskeletal system, muscles, joints, and nerves. Orthopedic surgeons take care of everything you use to move and be active. Orthopedic surgery errors can cause major damage to the patient’s lifestyle and quality of life. Even a seemingly minor error can have serious consequences, from chronic pain to paralysis. If you think you’ve been the victim of negligence in the operating room, contact Anapol Weiss. Our lawyers can help you take a stand against medical malpractice.
What Can Go Wrong During Orthopedic Surgery?
Any surgery comes with risks. Competent surgeons will explain risks and potential complications in detail prior to the surgery, giving you the chance to either accept the risks and agree to the procedure or choose a different route. Failure to warn is one of the types of medical malpractice that injured patients or their family members can bring up in court. For example, if a surgeon doesn’t warn you of the risk of permanent nerve damage during a surgery – a risk that would have made you refuse the procedure – you can sue for medical malpractice if you sustain permanent nerve damage. Other types of malpractice during orthopedic surgery include:
- Administrative mistakes
- Anesthesia errors
- Equipment failures
- Improper casting
- Improper technique
- Leaving foreign bodies behind
- Medication errors
- Negligent postoperative care
- Nerve injuries
- Physician impairment
- Poor surgical planning
- Technical difficulties
- Vascular system injuries
- Wrong-patient surgery
- Wrong-site surgery
Mistakes during orthopedic surgeries can result in harms such as uneven limbs, chronic pain, paralysis, and even death. Any number of things can go wrong during surgery. While not all complications and injuries during surgeries are medical malpractice, there is often negligence involved in these incidents. Errors and miscommunications in the operating room are entirely preventable with adequate care from surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and support staff.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To prove medical malpractice in the Pennsylvania courts, you must have four elements:
- You must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed. This is typically easy to prove since during orthopedic surgery an obvious professional relationship exists.
- One must prove the surgeon (or other party) breached his/her duties of care. This element often takes expert testimony to show that a reasonably competent person would have done something different in the same circumstances.
- The breach must have caused you harm. If you have evidence that the surgeon or other professional breached his/her duties, but a third factor (i.e., an allergy to the anesthesia) caused your injuries, the defendant will not be liable. The defendant’s breach of duty of care must be the proximate cause of your injuries.
- You must have suffered specific damages. If the incident did not cause you damages such as personal injury, pain and suffering, or medical expenses, you have no right to a claim. Talk to an attorney for help and advice regarding your specific medical malpractice situation.
Don’t Wait – Speak to an Attorney About Orthopedic Surgery Errors
It is an orthopedic surgeon’s responsibility to arrive prepared for surgery, communicate effectively, and handle emergencies with adequate care. Failure to act within the accepted standards of care within the medical industry constitutes malpractice. Nobody should have to suffer from malpractice in silence.
If you believe you or a loved is a victim of orthopedic surgery errors, please talk to us at Anapol Weiss. You may have grounds to bring a claim against the hospital and/or surgeon, and pursue compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and more. Call (866) 735-2792 or submit our form to speak to one of our attorneys about your situation in more detail.